QUESTION: Kyle, you won the championship last year, been there, done that, know what to expect. But the new Chase formats, they have little quirks to them every year, things go different ways. We saw Jimmie get eliminated at Dover last year. How much do those potential little nagging issues weigh in the back of your mind as you head through the rounds?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, I mean, it's the same for everybody. Harvick was really strong at Chicago. He got a flat and wrecked. I think we had four or five second-place finishes in Loudon, then we blew a tire at Loudon. It was a race we had bad luck.
We've had good fortune before. Last year we made it through barely each and every round. I think we were the last car to transfer through every time. Doesn't matter if you're the first car or the last car, as long as you get through the next one, you've got an opportunity to keep racing for a championship. That's what it's all about.
You know, I feel like the first round's a good round for us. It's strong. But you got to have solid finishes and try to minimize your bad days.
QUESTION: The last two seasons you were among the four finalists in Homestead. Would anything less than a championship be acceptable for you guys this year?
JOEY LOGANO: That's the goal, right? Why else would we show up at the racetrack if our goal wasn't to win the championship? I know our team can do it. Same team pretty much from last year, and our cars have decent speed in it, and we showed that some tonight. We were just good on the long run and not necessarily the short run. Overall I think our team is in a great spot right now, both the 2 and the 22. We are ready to fire away and see if we can put one of those Fords in victory lane.
QUESTION: In talking with your team earlier today, they said the goal was just to come away with a nice clean race, which obviously didn't happen. How do you start off the Chase on the right foot?
JIMMIE JOHNSON: We had a decent result, definitely not a clean race, but I don't think anybody did. I don't think anybody did. We've got to get better. There's no doubt about it. Inside of our walls at Hendrick Motorsports we know we're getting better, we know we're bringing a better product to the track. We're showing it at times, we've just got to show it consistently and finish in the top 5 consistently, and that will lead to opportunities to win, and hopefully the big trophy at the end of the year.
QUESTION: Heading into the Chase this year, this is the third year with the elimination format, the first two years have taken on a Wild West mentality. Do you expect that to continue? Do you think that sort of intensity and drama is good for the growth of the sport?
DENNY HAMLIN: Yeah, I think wrecks is a part of NASCAR, it's always been part of it for sure. But, yeah, you're getting down to the last race of the regular season. Some guys have a care factor that's really low right now. I think it's just part of that.
But I think that the Chase, I think things get a little bit tamer in the Chase because people are aware of the Chase cars. Whether they say so or not, they definitely race a little bit more careful around those guys, especially when you're not racing for a win.
I don't foresee it going much further, but I think as guys get eliminated, it could definitely ramp back up again.
QUESTION: Obviously your Michigan win puts you in the Chase, but it's the first time a Ganassi driver has entered the Chase with a victory, not just on points. What are your expectations starting the first round?
KYLE LARSON: Yeah, you know, the Chase tracks, most of them are good tracks for me, so starting off in Chicago, that's one of my favorite tracks to go to. I really think we can go there and have a strong run. The way we've been rolling lately, hopefully we can get another top three. I think this is our third week in a row of top threes. It's been awesome. Looking forward to it. First time in the Chase. There's a lot of new guys in the Chase, so should be pretty exciting.
NOTE: NASCAR introduced rules updates for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs on Wednesday, giving competition officials the power to issue more stringent rulings on technical infractions involving post-race laser inspections and lug nuts.